By far my favorite wildflower that grows on our farm is the Mariposa Lily. Blooming in mid summer it is later than most of the wildflowers on the land and not the tallest or biggest. You find it tucked in here and there on the hillsides, and to my knowledge has been lost in many areas around here. For about two weeks we get to enjoy these beautiful lilies before they disappear for another year.
The proper name for our Mariposa Lily is Calochortus macrocarpus and is sometimes called Fairy Lantern, Green-banded mariposa or Sego-lily. About 30cm. tall it grows from a oval bulb. Leaves are grass like and decrease in size along the stem. The flowers are pale to dark lavender with a long green stripe and often a purple band over an arrow-shaped spot. This lily is home to dry grasslands and open ponderosa pine forests, in otherwords right here.
Apparently livestock like it, not a problem for us however. This species was once widespread, but is now considerably less common. Harvesting the flowers or the bulbs should not be done as it destroys the entire plant. Luckily the deer seem to leave it alone as well, at least around here they do.
Wildflower Wednesday with Clay and Limestone / See Blog Roll